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Bobby Bare

Rare Tracks – 1999 (Koch)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Bobby Bare

There's nothing like a reissue to remind you what country ought to be. Bobby Bare's reissue traces his 1977-1983 period with Columbia. Bare's distinctive vocal style is showcased here. One highlight is 1978's "The Gambler," later to be covered with much commercial success by Kenny Rogers.

A pair of Guy Clark tunes ("Let Him Roll" and "New Cut Road") and George Jones' "Appaloosa Rider" also standout. Bare also does five Shel Silverstein tunes including "Greasy Grit Gravy" (with Willie and Waylon), "Numbers" (a number 1 hit in 1980), and "Rough on the Living" (which Waylon performs on the current "Old Dogs" album with Bare, Jerry Reed and Mel Tillis). With country becoming more formulaic in recent years, fans of real country will enjoy this gem of an artist from the past.